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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Orc in the Playground
    Join Date
    Oct 2006

    Default Alternative to the ten basic dragon species

    "What proof do you have that you didn't vanquish a stalwart defender of the weak in your mad lust for treasure??"

    "Ummmm, it's scales weren't all shiny"

    if you don't want a dragon's alignment to be readily understandable, if your players all read the dragon's powers in the MM and you want to throw a curve ball, if you want dragons of different alignments to have more commonalities (or fewer), if you want to have NG, NE, N, CN, or LN dragons, this is for you!

    In my D&D world, any two adult dragons can mate. The offspring dragon(s) may or may not manifest powers similar to their parents. A dragon's early choices influence their powers and aptitudes.

    Step One: Select a concept, roll out (or point distribute base ability scores) as if you had no modifiers, then select age category and HD

    Category Age Size HD AC
    1-Wyrmling 0-5 Small 3-6 HD AC 4
    2-Very Young 6-15 Medium +3 HD AC 6
    3-Young 15-25 Medium +6 HD AC 9
    4-Juvenile 26-50 Large +9 HD AC 11
    5-Young Adult 51-100 Large DR 5/Magic +12 HD AC 14
    6-Adult 101-200 Large +15 HD AC 17
    7-Mature Adult 201-400 Huge DR 10/Magic +18 HD AC 19
    8-Old 401-600 Huge +21 HD AC 22
    9-Very Old 600-800 Huge DR 15/Magic +24 HD AC 25
    10-Ancient 800-1,000 Gargantuan +27 HD AC 26
    11-Wyrm 1,001-1,200 Gargantuan DR 20/Magic +30 HD AC 29
    12-Great Wyrm 1,201-2,000 Gargantuan +33 HD AC 32
    13-Second Age Dragon 2,001+ Colossal DR 25/Magic +36 HD AC 31

    Bite 2 Claws 2 Wings Tail Slap Crush Tail Sweep
    S 1d6 1d4 - - - -
    M 1d8 1d6 1d4 - - -
    L 2d6 1d8 1d6 1d8 - -
    H 2d8 2d6 1d8 2d6 2d6 -
    G 4d6 2d8 2d6 2d8 2d8 2d6
    C 4d8 4d6 2d8 4d6 4d6 2d8

    Bite Base Strength
    Claws/Wings Half Strength
    Tail/Crush 1 Strength

    The size modifiers are already included in AC, 2nd age dragon refers to my own metaplot, these dragons are old enough to remember a time before humans existed

    Str Dex* Con Int/Wis/Cha
    Wyrmling +2 +0 +2 +0
    Very Young +4 +0 +2 +0
    Young +6 +0 +4 +2
    Juvenile +8 +0 +4 +2
    Young Adult +10 +0 +6 +4
    Adult +12 +0 +6 +4
    Mature Adult +14 +0 +8 +6
    Old +16 +0 +8 +6
    Very Old +18 +0 +10 +8
    Ancient +20 +0 +10 +8
    Wyrm +22 +0 +12 +10
    Great Wyrm +24 +0 +12 +10
    Second Age Dragon +26 +0 +14 +12

    Base Saves = HD (rounded down) +2 (in other words as a monk of that level)
    Base Attack = +1 per HD for first 20 HD, +1 per 2 HD after 20 (rounded up)

    Sorcerer Level = Int Modifier +Wis Modifier + Cha Modifier
    (Charisma still determines maximum level of spells, bonus spells, and save modifier)

    Now here's the tricky part. Add up all the dragons HD. Each HD is one point. The points may be spent on special abilities or on strengthening the dragons breath weapon See below:

    Power Point Cost
    Spell-like ability, once per day Level of spell
    Spell-like ability, three times per day level of spell+1
    Spell like ability at will level of spell+3
    Weak Lethal Breath Weapon* -1
    Minor Lethal Breath Weapon* 0
    Moderate Lethal Breath Weapon* 1
    Strong Lethal Breath Weapon* 3
    Mighty Lethal Breath Weapon* 5
    Additional Lethal Breath Weapon** 3
    Additional Non-lethal Breath Weapon** 4
    Water Breathing 1
    Tongues 1
    Telepathic Communication with any being 3
    +4 Camouflage in broad terrain type (desert, forest, etc) 1
    +4 Camouflage in all terrains 2
    Alter Form (as a Silver Dragon) 4

    Points can be saved up till the dragon ages, but saving too many points weakens the dragon.

    *Lethal Breath Weapons can be fire (line or cone), cold (cone only), chlorine gas (cone only), acid (line only), sonic (cone only), lightning (line only). Primary Breath Weapons come with immunities to damage type (fire and cold weapons include a slight vulnerability to the opposite power).
    ** Additional breath weapons still confer immunities and the dragon can switch between them interchangeable but it does not affect the rounds a dragon must wait before making additional breath weapon attacks. Non-lethal Breath Weapon attacks are all gaseous and can be Sleep, Repulsion, or Slow gas.

    Breath Weapon damage is as follows:

    Feats: HD divided by three (rounded down) plus one
    Skills: Six skill points per HD base, what is or isn’t a class skill depends on the dragon’s personality. Most max out Listen, Spot, and Search.

    The save difficulty for a dragons frightful presence and breath weapon are the same difficulty (though obviously frightful presence is Will and breath is Reflex)


    Frightful Presence Save and Breath Weapon Save DC = 10+ 1/2 HD + Cha modifier

    Spell Resistance is = to HD + (2 times Cha modifier)

    Edit: CR is estimated to be 3/4 of HD, that's slightly higher than the CR of most of the dragons in the MM
    Last edited by Scalenex; 2006-12-21 at 10:08 PM.

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Orc in the Playground
    Join Date
    Oct 2006

    Default Re: Alternative to the ten basic dragon species

    Terwyn, the Crystal Blink Dragon
    (Young Adult, 75 years old, Large) CR 11
    Terwyn is a young fairly nave dragon that dwells in the Slyvanian Forrest. She does her best to help good forest creatures but would rather talk than fight and is reluctant to kill. She makes it a point to eat anything she kills. Terwyn is particular fond of blink dogs and sometimes hunts with them.
    Terwyn will chat almost anyone up, even if they are probably evil though not if they are hostile. Her voice is humanlike but loud with lots of reverberation. Her color is crystalline and reflective like a polished mirror. The one non-shiny part of her skin is a purplish crescent moon shaped birthmark around her left eye (which she says her mother gave it to her). She can become practically transparent at will leaving only her gold eyes and her birth mark. She is small for her age and has a snakelike body with four legs not unlike a typical depiction of a Chinese dragon.
    Str 18 +4
    Dex 11 +0
    Con 17 +3
    Int 18 +4
    Wis 13 +1
    Cha 18 +4

    9th level sorcerer, 16 HD, DR 5/Magic, Spell Resistance 23,

    0th (6 per day) Detect Magic, Detect Poison, Ghost Sound, Read Magic, Cure Minor Wounds, Arcane Mark, Prestidigitation, Mending
    1st (7 per day) Cure Light Wounds, Magic Missile, Silent Image, Sleep, Alarm
    2nd (7 per day) Glitterdust, Gust of Wind, Invisibility, Blindness/Deafness
    3rd (7 per day) Clairaudience/Clairvoyance, Displacement, Lightning Bolt
    4th (5 per day) Remove Curse, Dimension Door

    Abilities: Moderate Sonic Weapon (1), Tongues (1), All purpose Camouflage (2), Blink at will (5) Alter Form (4), 3 spare points

    Bite +20 2 Claws +13 2 Wings +13 Tail Slap +17
    2d6+4 1d8+2 1d6+2 1d8+6

    Sonic Breath Attack: 10d6, 40 foot cone

    Base Attack: +16, Secondary Attack +11
    Fort +12, Ref +9, Will +10 AC 15/16

    Fear/Breath Save Difficulty 21, Spell Save = 10+ spell level + 4

    Feats: Track, Hover, Alertness, Extend Spell

    Skills (190 points, 19 max): Spot 18 (+19), Listen 18 (+19), Search 18 (+22), Concentration 18 (+21), Survival 15 (+19), Knowledge (geography) 11 (+15), Spellcraft
    +16 (+20), Use Magic Device 16 (+20), Move Silently 7 (+4), Hide 9 (+10), Climb 8 (+9), Intimidate 8 (+12), Sense Motive 9 (+10), Diplomacy 11 (+15), Knowledge (religion) 8 (+12), Knowledge (arcana) 14 (+18), Knowledge Nature 16 (+20)

    Terwyn is just getting the hang of her alter form power, and frequently leaves tell-tale dragon signs like shiny skin, tiny horns, or even a tail when she transforms.
    Last edited by Scalenex; 2006-12-21 at 10:22 PM.

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Orc in the Playground
    Join Date
    Oct 2006

    Default Re: Alternative to the ten basic dragon species

    Terwyn was NG, now for a N or CN dragon.

    Aquayesh, the Storm Dragon
    (Mature Adult, 250 years old, Huge)

    This greyish dragon can adapt his color to the sky or water around him. He normally leaves people alone but he is very territorial and if they sail near his island, he's apt to sink their ship with storms, lead them astray with Hallucinary terrain, or physical take drag their ship(s) down to the bottom whatever suits him.

    Str 29 +9
    Dex 10 +0
    Con 21 +5
    Int 17 +3
    Wis 14 +2
    Cha 19 +4

    22 HD Fort +18, Ref +11, Will +13 AC 19
    Base Attack +21, Secondary Attack +16

    Abilities 20/22: Water breathing (1), Sea camouflage (1), Alter form (4), Strong Breath Weapon (3), Telepathy (2), Fog Cloud three times/day (3), Hallucinatory Terrain at will (6)

    9th level sorcerer
    0th level (6 per day) Prestidigitation, Read Magic, Detect Magic, Light, Arcane
    Mark, Cure Minor Wounds, Ghost Sound, Touch of Fatigue
    1st level (7 per day) Feather Fall, Silent Image, Hypnotism, Animate Rope, True Strike
    2nd level (7 per day) Resist Energy, Locate Object, Flaming Sphere, Mirror Image
    3rd level (7 per day) Sleet Storm, Dispel Magic, Wind Wall
    4th level (5 per day) Solid Fog, Ice Storm

    Bite (+30 Attack) 2d8+9
    2 Claws (+21) 2d6+4
    2 Wings (+21) 1d8+4
    Tail Slap (+29) 2d6+13
    Crush (+30) 2d6+13 Replaces ordinary attacks, may hit several enemies

    Fear and Breath Save Difficulty: 25

    Skill Points and Feats not yet selected
    Last edited by Scalenex; 2006-12-21 at 10:15 PM.

  4. - Top - End - #4
    Orc in the Playground
    Join Date
    Oct 2006

    Default Re: Alternative to the ten basic dragon species

    Here's an evil dragon (probably NE or LE). He dwells in the desert and has camped his lair around a well used oasis (or river or other source) along a major trading route. The nearby town and travelers have to give him tribute or he won't let them get water. His human minions do most of the treasure collecting. Their job also is to police to make sure spell casters don't circumvent their master's demands by using create water spells. Occasional use of water creation for personal use is allowed (most of the time) largely because they can't enforce it very easily, but use of magical created water for feeding livestock or irrigating crops is likely to bring down the dragon's wrath.

    Dragon Extortionist (Old, 450 years, Huge) CR 18

    Str 27 +8
    Dex 10 +0
    Con 19 +4
    Int 13 +1
    Wis 15 +2
    Cha 20 +5

    24 HD, Spell Resistance 34
    Base Attack +30, Secondary Attack +28
    Fort +18, Ref +14, Will +16 AC 22

    Fear/Breath Save DC 27, spell save = 10+spell level+5

    Fire Breath: 34d8 (cone)

    Bite 2 Claws 2 Wings Tail Slap Crush
    2d8+8 2d6+4 1d8+4 2d6+12 2d6+12

    8th level sorcerer
    0th (6 per day) Message, Arcane Mark, Detect Magic, Detect Poison, Flare, Prestidigitation, Read Magic, Mending
    1st (8 per day) Shield, Obscuring Mist, Ray of Enfeeblement, Silent Image, Magic Missile
    2nd (7 per day) Status, Cure Moderate Wounds, Summon Swarm
    3rd (6 per day) Windwall, Protection from Energy
    4th (4 per day) Greater Invisibility

    Abilities: Strong Breath Weapon: cone of fire 34d8 (3), Water Breathing (1), Tongues (1), Create/Destroy Water at will (3), Feather Fall (3 times a day) (2), Levitate (3 times a day) (3), 4 points to spare

    Feats: Alertness, Multi-Attack, Power Attack, Cleave, Snatch, Blind Fight

    Skills (189 points, 27 max): Listen 27 (+31), Spot 27 (+31), Search 27 (+28), Intimidate 27 (+32), Swim 5 (+13), Survival 3 (+5), Appraise 11 (+12), Diplomacy 4 (+9), Sense Motive 11 (+13), Spellcraft 11 (+12), Knowledge (local) 12 (+13), Use Magic Device 11 (+16), Concentration 13 (+14)

    You'll notice that Terwyn has powers that can emulate blink dogs, Aqayish can control elements of the sea and the as of yet unnamed extortionist (though he prefers to be called The Master of the Desert) can fatigue people and create illusions (aka mirages), both deserty abilities. All my dragons emulate themes.

    Most of my dragons select or are given a title relating to their role, the Storm Dragon, the Crystal Blink Dragon, etc. This highlights each dragon's story role and uniqueness. It's not hard to imagine rainbow colored Aztec inspired feathered serpent dragons in the jungles. (I like that concept but I can't figure out what's it's powers or story role would be and besides my PCs aren't near any tropics).
    Last edited by Scalenex; 2006-12-21 at 10:26 PM.

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